Risks to children from Covid-19 very low; risks of school closures very serious: Child health expert

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on August 10, 2020 Published on August 10, 2020

It’s safe to reopen schools next month, says the report

According to a research led by Professor Russell Viner, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, it is safe to reopen schools next month.

Viner’s research gathered data from 100 institutions in the United Kingdom and studied 35 research papers from across the world on schools and coronavirus. He concluded in his research that “there is very little evidence” of Covid-19 transmission in schools, The Independent reported.

“The risks to children from Covid-19 are very low, and the risks of school closures, we know, are very serious,” he said.

Prof Viner, who is also a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, said in a statement cited in The Sunday Times report: “Britain as a nation should stand up and say: our children are essential.”

He maintained that around 20,000 pupils and teachers have been monitored to analyse the spread of the virus up to the end of the summer term, Viner told The Sunday Times.

Viner’s research team had also included 35 studies from around the world to examine the trend of the disease in schools.

One finding has been that “children play a minor role in the transmission of the virus and schools play a minor role in the transmission of the virus.”

“Everything you do to reopen society will impact the national R (rate), but reopening schools, we believe, has a very small impact on it. The majority of cases are staff, not students,” Prof Viner said as cited in The Independent report.

Recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also pledged to bring back pupils to schools in September as he called the prolonged closures of schools “morally indefensible”.

The Prime Minister stated that closure of schools has led to growing fears of obesity, abuse, and depression among children. This has also diminished education.

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Published on August 10, 2020
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